For many Canadians, nothing encapsulates summer better than a trip to the cottage with family and friends. We all love to spend time in nature relaxing, swimming, barbecuing and boating, but it’s important to be mindful of potential hazards even when you’re on vacation. Below, are some safety tips so you can rest easy knowing that you’re prepared in case of an emergency.

As much as Canadians love being at the cottage, I think its safe to assume that many of us enjoy the drive to and from the destination a little less. Part of a safe vacation is making sure that you arrive safely. Ensure that your car is fit for your first road trip of the summer by checking all fluids, tire pressure and confirming that all lights and signals work properly. If you don’t have a first aid kit in your car, you should purchase one. That said, check that your first aid kit is fully stocked and replace any supplies that have dwindled. Finally, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got plenty of water in the car in the event that you end up stuck in traffic in the summer heat among fellow cottage goers.

If you’re renting the cottage, make sure you understand any instructions from the owner about things that may need to be done when you arrive. Arriving at a cottage after it’s been vacant for a week or longer is not the same as checking into a hotel or Airbnb. You’ll want to check the roof and eavestroughs to ensure that they are clear of leaves and other debris. Examine smoke and CO2 detectors to ensure they’re in working order. If the cottage has a barbecue, make sure you familiarize yourself with how to operate it, and ensure that it’s in working order. Gas, propane, and charcoal barbecues are all different and you need to know how to safely turn them on and off before you start cooking.

If your cottage is on a lake, there’s a good chance you’ll end up on a boat at some point during your trip. Whether it’s a canoe, kayak, or motorboat, you should always ensure that you are wearing a life jacket and that life jackets are available for passengers. Make sure the life jacket is the appropriate size for the person wearing it and that it is properly secured. You should always be wearing a life jacket when you’re on a boat regardless of your age and swimming proficiency. If you’re knocked unconscious or otherwise incapacitated in an accident a life jacket could save your life. Before operating a motorboat, you should check its condition, including fuel tanks and fuel lines, to ensure its fit to be out on the water. If you don’t have a boating license, you should not be operating a motorboat under any circumstances.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a vacation related injury, call the team at Jasmine Daya & Co. at 416-967-9100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.